Google Ads

How to Use Dynamic & Standard Remarketing to Maximize Online Sales

Thinking about adding remarketing to your Google Ads strategy? We’ve successfully grown hundreds of brands thanks to effective ad remarketing, and we can do the same for you.

Google Ads

How to Use Dynamic & Standard Remarketing to Maximize Online Sales

Thinking about adding remarketing to your Google Ads strategy? We’ve successfully grown hundreds of brands thanks to effective ad remarketing, and we can do the same for you.

Matt Slaymaker
November 18, 2021
Google Ads
Marketing

About the Google Display Network & Remarketing

The Google Display Network has the largest reach of any display network in the world. Approximately 90% of global internet users are reached by Google’s Display Network, including 94% of all US internet users. Of these users, 64% are reached every day. Remarketing on the Google Display Network is a crucial pillar for any digital marketing strategy, allowing you to reach your previous website visitors virtually wherever they go on the internet. In this article, we will be exploring two types of Google Display remarketing types, dynamic remarketing and standard remarketing.

What is Standard Remarketing?

Standard remarketing allows a brand to show static or responsive display ads to past visitors of your website as they browse websites and apps on the Display Network. These ads feature headlines, descriptions and images - hand selected by the advertiser to deliver a particular message to the advertiser’s remarketing audience.

What is Dynamic Remarketing?

Dynamic remarketing is a form of remarketing that allows you to show ads to past visitors of any products or services that they viewed on your site. Unlike standard remarketing, the advertiser does not select which images, headlines, or descriptions will be displayed to the user as the ad is automatically tailored to the individual user’s behavior on the website.

When Should You Use Standard Remarketing?

Standard remarketing is likely the form of remarketing that most brands are familiar with when it comes to Google Ads. For standard remarketing, you start by sorting website visitors into lists based on their activity on your website. For example, common ways you could sort your website visitors could include:

  1. All Website Visitors - Any and all website visitors, this is your largest possible remarketing list.
  2. Product Page Viewers - Visitors who navigated to your website’s product pages to learn more about a particular product.
  3. All Purchasers - Visitors who purchased a product from your website.
  4. Product X Purchasers - Visitors who purchased a specific product from your website. 
  5. Cart Abandoners - Visitors who added an item to their cart, but did not complete their purchase. 

These different types of audiences have varying levels of intent. For example, a cart abandoner is much closer to purchasing your product than someone who simply visited your website and did not take any action. The way that we will deliver our ads to these users will also need to vary. This is where standard remarketing is beneficial. Standard remarketing ads allow advertisers to craft their messaging to fit a user’s level of purchase intent at the time. 

If your goal is to build brand awareness and long-term consideration, you might show ads to people who have visited any of your pages, highlighting your brand’s differentiating factors or the problem that your products help solve. This form of remarketing can be useful in keeping your brand in people’s minds so that when they eventually decide to make a purchase for products like yours, your brand will be at the top of their minds.

On the other hand, perhaps your goal with your remarketing campaign is to drive efficient conversions. In this situation, you could target users who previously purchased one of your products such as deodorant or body wash, and deliver them an ad about one of your products that they have not purchased yet, such as sunscreen.

Brand loyalty is a strong force, and targeting those who already love your brand is a great place to start when looking to drive conversions at a low cost-per-acquisition.

Maybe you have just launched a new product and you want to make sure that everyone who has previously purchased from your brand is aware, so that they can check it out and make a purchase if interested. In this case, you could craft your messaging to this situation as seen below:


Well-timed targeting and messaging tailored to where the user is in their purchase journey are the primary reasons why standard remarketing should be utilized for any business.

When Should You Use Dynamic Remarketing?

When users research products or services on your site, but leave without converting, you can use Dynamic Remarketing to show the products that they indicated interest in to them as they visit other sites on the Google Display Network. These types of ads allow you to tap into a recent interest, or reawaken an older interest, and drive conversions for users actively showing interest in your products.

Creating dynamic remarketing ads requires a product feed in Google Merchant Center. Once you create a basic .csv, .tsv, .xls, or .xlsx feed, simply connect the feed to your Display Remarketing campaign in the campaign’s settings: 

From there, the Google Ads product recommendation engine will pull those products from your feed, determining the best mix of products for each ad based on popularity and what the visitor viewed on your site. Google Ads then predicts which dynamic ad layout is likely to perform best for the person, placement, and platform where the ad will show.

We have seen Dynamic Display Ads work best for brands who have a wide variety of products, and multiple variations of those products. If your brand only sells 1-3 products, then Dynamic Remarketing may not be too beneficial. However, if your brand sells more than 10 product variants, then the ability to serve ads that feature the specific products a user showed interest in becomes incredibly powerful. 

Some of the potential downsides of dynamic remarketing ads include:

  • Less Control Over Creative - While advertisers can control which products will be allowed to show on dynamic remarketing ads; the order and layout in which they will display is entirely in the hands of Google. 
  • They Don’t Provide Much of a Message - As you can see from some of the above examples, there is not much in the form of messaging when it comes to dynamic display ads. If you want to deliver a specific message to a specific type of audience, then dynamic display ads may not be the best option.
  • As a Result, They Are Less Effective for Branding Campaigns - If your goal is generating general brand awareness and consideration, then you will likely want more control over your creative and messaging. 

Using Both Standard and Dynamic Remarketing To Maximize Sales

As discussed above, there are particular scenarios where standard remarketing may be better for a brand than dynamic remarketing, and vice-versa. However, for most ecommerce brands, utilizing both dynamic and standard remarketing is necessary to fully maximize your ability to recapture, upsell, cross-sell and drive consideration from your website visitors. 

When it comes to users who viewed your website’s product pages or service pages, we recommend utilizing dynamic remarketing to re-engage the user with the products that they are most likely to engage with, based on their previous behavior. When it comes to delivering a specific message, building awareness, or highlighting a particular product, we recommend utilizing standard remarketing (responsive display ads and stto have greater control over your creative and messaging - so as to ensure that you are reaching the right user, at the right time, with the right message.

Thinking about adding remarketing to your Google Ads strategy?  We’ve successfully grown hundreds of brands thanks to effective ad remarketing, and we can do the same for you. Request a free strategy session today!

Amazon Ads

How To Crush It On Amazon - Packaging, Prep & Labeling for Amazon FBA

The only thing more frustrating than going down the Seller Support rabbit hole is learning you’ve wracked up costly fees and created countless delays due to a packaging mistake.

Amber Norell
November 11, 2021
Amazon Ads
Amazon Brand Management
Marketing

Packaging, Prep & Labeling Requirements for Amazon FBA

Before you start selling on Amazon, you’ll need to get your products packaged and ready to go. Having a strategy in place for packaging, prep, and labeling is critical to your success on Amazon. Poor packaging can result in a range of negative consequences including bad reviews, lost inventory, and even blocked shipments. Here’s what you need to know:

Packaging

General Guidelines

  • Amazon stipulates that any product sent to a fulfillment center with packaging that is inadequate or non-compliant may be refused, returned, or repackaged at your expense.
  • All parts and pieces sold as an individual unit must be contained within a single, secure package, including items sold as sets.
  • Units that are contained in non-secure packaging, such as loose sleeves or pouches, must also be bagged or secured with a non-adhesive band or removable tape.


Boxed Products

  • Boxed packages must be six-sided.
  • The opening or lid of a box must not easily open on its own. Tape, glue, or staples must be used to keep it closed if it opens easily.
  • Boxes must be able to withstand medium pressure applied to any of its sides.
  • Boxes with perforated sides or openings must be able to withstand a 3-foot drop test (one drop on each side and one drop on a corner).
  • Boxes that do not withstand the drop test have to also be enclosed in a poly bag with a suffocation warning

Over-boxing

  • Over-boxing may be required for certain products with safety concerns in regards to shipping or handling.
  • The practice of over-boxing requires placing a product that is prepared or packaged in a box for additional protection, regardless of whether or not that item is already boxed. 
  • Double-wall corrugated boxes should be used for over-boxing on products over 10 lb.
  • The following items are subject to over-boxing requirements:
  • Sharp items that can puncture packaging.
  • Fragile items with bubble wrap applied that couldn’t withstand the 3-foot drop test.
  • Items that could be easily damaged during shipping or handling.
  • Glass containers that exceed 4.2 oz and carry hazardous liquids.
  • Vinyl records.

Use of Hangers

  • Most normal-size hangers must be removed from apparel.
  • Mini-hangers used for packaging such as those for baby clothes are allowed.
  • Accessories, Bras, Hats, Shorts, Sock, Hosiery, Sweaters, Swimwear, and Underwear are prohibited from the use of any type of hanger.
  • The following items are exceptions and must remain on a hanger:
  • Blazers, Suit Jackets, and Suits.
  • Dresses with a list price exceeding $299.99 per unit.
  • Formal or evening wear or garments that contain materials that could be damaged when laid flat (garments with intricate beading, sequins, or other detailing). 
  • Outerwear with a list price exceeding $299.99 per unit.
  • Items whose primary material is real leather, real fur or wool.
  • Pants, shirts, skirts, and sleepwear with a list price exceeding $299.99 per unit.

Case-Packed Products

  • All products within a box are required to have matching SKUs and conditions and must  have been packaged by the manufacturer.
  • All boxes in a case that contain the same product must have equal quantities of a product in each box (ex: All 2 Packs must contain 2).
  • Alternatively, Individual Products that are not case-packed may contain various products  with differing quantities and conditions.
  • Cases are subject to a case pack limit of 150 units per case.
  • When receiving a case, the fulfillment center only scans one unit in each case.
  • If manufacturers pack excess units into a larger box, this cannot be shipped as a case. Products must be separated and repacked at the appropriate case-pack level.
  • Scannable barcodes from the case must be removed or covered. Only the individual units within the case may have scannable barcodes.

Packaging Safety

  • To ensure the safety of customers and prevent serious injury, use safety knives and covered blades during the packing process to prevent sharp objects from accidentally being  left in packaging.

Prep

General Guidelines

  • Amazon warns that inventory shipped to a fulfillment center that is not properly prepped and labeled may incur additional preparation fees.
  • When products fall under multiple categories, they must be prepped to meet the conditions of all categories.
  • Theft-prevention devices are prohibited and must not be attached to products.
  • All FNSKUs must be unique and correspond to one unique product. Variations must all be assigned their own unique FNSKU.

Prepping Products in Sets

  • Loose items sold in a set must be marked as a set on the packaging. The unit should indicate that the product is sold as a set.
  • Items in a set should not only be marked as a set but also combined and sealed in order to prevent loose items from being separated.
  • If a set contains items that have their own unique ASINs assigned to them, the set should still have it’s own unique ASIN assigned to it. 
  • Any ASINs on individual items within a set should not be outwardly visible and will need to be covered.

Prepping with Poly Bags

  • When using poly bags, a suffocation warning must either be printed on the bag or attached as a label if the bag has a 5-inch opening or larger (measured flat). Failure to apply this warning may lead to rebagging.
  • The warning should be prominently printed or placed in a legible font size suitable to the size of the bag. Amazon’s size requirement are as follows:

Total length plus width of bag         Minimum print size

60 inches or more                              24 point

40 to 59 inches                                   18 point

30 to 39 inches                                   14 point

Less than 29 inches                           10 point

  • The bag must be at least 1.5 mil thick.
  • The poly bag must also be transparent.
  • A scannable barcode (UPC, EAN, etc) or X00-label must either be scannable through the bag or have an X00- or ASIN label on the outside of the bag.
  • Bags must be completely sealed.
  • Poly bags or shrink wrap must not protrude more than 3 inches past the dimensions of the product.
  • Black, opaque poly bagging or shrink wrap must be used on adult products.
  • Products with strong scents (candles, incense, etc) must be sealed or bagged to prevent the scent from absorbing into other products.

Prepping with Bubble Wrap

  • When using bubble wrap, products must be tightly wrapped and taped closed so that product doesn’t come loose.
  • Products must have scannable barcodes on the outside.
  • Packaging must be able to withstand a 3-foot drop test on a hard surface without contents breaking or becoming damaged.
  • The drop test will include 5 drops: Flat on the base and top, Flat on the longest and shortest sides and on a corner.
  • Bubble wrap may be required for fragile products that can be easily damaged during transit or heavy or dense products that can damage other products during transit.

Prepping Products with Expiration Dates

  • If products have expiration dates, additional prepwork may be required such as poly-bagging or bubble-wrapping.
  • Expiration dates must be accessible and labeled on the outside of the product prep or packaging.
  • The required formats for expiration dates are MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY. Products using any other format of expiration date are subject to stickers being applied with the correct format covering the original expiration label.
  • Expiration dates must be displayed on the outer box in 36-point or larger font on individual units.
  • Using only lot numbers is not sufficient for expiration date requirements.
  • Products with expiration dates may require additional prep, such as poly bags or bubble wrap.
  • Expiration dates must be accessible during check-in and labeled on the outside of any prep or packaging.
  • Perishable items are prohibited.

Prepping Products with Tape

  • Extra tape may be required for items that need boxes or poly bags sealed or bubble wrap secured around them.
  • Some instances that may require extra tape are the following:

              --Product may slip out of packaging if the container is not taped close.

               --Product may leak if the lid is not secured with tape.

              --Container is not fully sealed.

Labeling

General Guidelines

  • The exterior of each unit must be equipped with a scannable barcode or label. This must include both the scannable barcode and the corresponding numbers associated with that barcode.
  • Any existing scannable barcodes on the outside of shipping boxes must be ​​removed, covered, or rendered unscannable. Using opaque tape or a black felt-tip marker are acceptable methods for rendering the barcode unscannable. 
  • Not labeling boxes with the required FBA box ID label can result in all future shipments being blocked, as well as a manual processing fee.
  • Labels must be able to be scanned quickly and easily at fulfillment centers otherwise you may encounter delays in your inventory being received.

Best Practices for Printing Labels

  • Printable labels in Seller Central are optimized for thermal printers. However, you may also use laser printers.
  • Inkjet printers should not be used to print labels.
  • To prevent scaling, your printer’s scaling settings should either be set to “None” or 100%.
  • Ensure you are using the correct label stock for your printer.
  • Opt for a printer with a 300 DPI resolution or better.
  • Ensure the printer head is tested, cleaned, and replaced as needed.
  • Testing your barcodes occasionally by scanning them can help ensure quality.
  • Amazon barcodes are required to be printed in black and white on non-reflective labels with removable adhesive.
  • Label dimensions must fall within 1 x 2 inches and 2 x 3 inches.

Product Labeling Guidelines

You can use one of three types of barcodes:

  • Manufacturer Barcodes (UPC or EAN)
  • Amazon Barcodes (FNSKU)
  • Transparency Labels 

Additionally, you have 3 options for labeling your products:

  • Use existing manufacturer barcodes (UPC or EAN) for eligible products.
  • Apply Amazon barcodes on prep or packaging.
  • Have Amazon’s FBA Label Service apply them for you at a cost of $0.30 per item.

When printing barcodes, ensure they include all of the following:

  • There must be sufficient white space around the Amazon barcode and text (Include margins of 0.25 inches on sides and 0.125 inches on the top and bottom).
  • ASIN or FNSKU
  • Product name
  • Item condition

When placing your barcode, make sure you do the following:

  • Place the correct barcode on every item.
  • Cover any visible barcodes except serial numbers or transparency authentication codes.
  • Place barcodes on the outermost layer of prep or packaging.
  • Don’t place barcodes on a curve or corner of packages.
  • Every item in a case pack must have an Amazon barcode.
  • Allow for a margin of 0.25 inches between the label’s edge and the packaging’s edge.

Box & Pallet Labeling Guidelines

  • Any box or pallet sent to an Amazon fulfillment center, must be identified with a unique box ID and pallet label.
  • Amazon recommends printing the full set of labels. Since they are unique, it’s important not to photocopy, reuse, or modify labels.
  • Labels support a measurement of 3 ⅓ x 4 inches. With thermal printers, the option is available to print directly on a 4 x 6 inch format by selecting thermal paper in the printing options.
  • Labels should not be placed on seams or openings to avoid damage when the box opens.
  • Both FBA box ID labels and mail carrier labels should be placed on a flat surface of the box, not folded over edges.
  • Both labels must be uncovered, scannable and readable.
  • The FBA box ID label should be printed directly from your shipment workflow.
  • Each pallet requires four labels, one on the top center of each side.
  • When shipping multiple case packs in a larger box, apply the FBA box ID to the larger box only. It is not necessary to label all individual case packs.

Marketing Materials

  • Marketing  materials are prohibited, including pre-priced labels, pamphlets, price tags, or other non-Amazon labels.

Additional Category-Specific Resources

Use the following Seller Central resources for additional, up-to-date information on category-specific regulations for Packaging, Prep & Labeling:

Amazon Packaging & Prep Guidelines

Generating Your Shipment & Printing Labels

Product Label Requirements

Shipment Label Requirements

FBA Label Service

Now that you know the basics of preparing your products for FBA, you’re ready to get your first shipment in!

Agency

3 Ways To Power Through From Uncertainty to Certainty

Do you feel it? It’s in the air. That feeling of uncertainty. You might find my process helpful. It’s simple — Rise, Eat, Pray, Read, Meditate, Pray. Power Through.

Chris Brewer
November 4, 2021
Marketing
Agency

Do you feel it? 

It’s in the air. That feeling of uncertainty. When you consider the enormous supply chain disruptions that include seemingly daily announcements of container ships stacking up along the pacific coast, inflationary pressures, political strife, and the massive impacts of iOS 14, the air is thick with uncertainty. 

Is it all doom and gloom?

I recently addressed the Founders Mastery group on this topic at a fantastic location above Huntsville, Alabama. 


The interesting thing about uncertainty is this — it’s always with us. Let’s take a quick peek back at 2020. The Covid-19 Pandemic, 2020 Election, George Floyd, and related events (remember Seattle? Defund the police?). These created enormous levels of uncertainty. You might be thinking that we haven’t always had such high levels of uncertainty. Take a quick peek back to 2015. We had Isis, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the Google Rankbrain update. I recall those causing a hand wringing level of uncertainty.


Uncertainty for entrepreneurs creates opportunities.

Take the supply chain for instance. I knew these disruptions would spur creative entrepreneurs to take action. In just the past 30 days, I’ve been invited to invest in a new supply chain, a logistics SaaS, two United States based manufacturing opportunities, and a distribution play that will allow the fading drop shipping industry, for one, to regain its relevance. 

How can we thrive in periods of uncertainty? We combat it by having an opposite mindset. I fondly remember the Seinfeld season 5, episode 22, “The Opposite.” It’s a humorous example, and it’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. It’s an excellent example of how a shift in mindset can bring about positive change. 


I’m not recommending doing the opposite of what you think you should do every single time, but what I recommend is shifting your mindset from uncertainty to certainty.

What is certainty?

For clarity, it’s essential to define the type of certainty we’re considering. What I’m not advocating is a certainty mindset that excludes questioning, facts, and reasoning. Ellen Langer, a Yale professor dubbed the “mother of mindfulness,” states, “Certainty is a cruel mindset, and it hardens our minds against possibility.”

Certainty for our purposes is an emotion or a driver. I like how the Tony Robbins blog puts it, “Certainty is the emotion that allows us to accomplish what once seemed impossible. Our capacity to achieve, lead and serve is expanded by it, and it is a resource we can access in a moment. If you want to separate yourself from the bottom 80% of entrepreneurs and achievers, then begin by bringing ample amounts of certainty to your clients, team, and even your family.” Another way to explain it is, “Certainty doesn’t mean that you know what to do. Certainty means that you know you’re going to figure things out.” 

3 ways to bring more certainty to your endeavors and challenges.

  1. Trust Your Gut Instincts

For me, uncertainty breeds that gut feeling. I’m a huge proponent of trusting your gut instincts. I can look back at multiple gut feelings that were acted upon and led to enormous breakthroughs. I can also look back at gut feelings that weren’t acted upon that left my companies playing catch up. Of course there have been those gut feelings that utterly failed when put into practice, but in my experience, they’re in the minority. 

  1. Don’t Go It Alone

Ever heard that being an entrepreneur is lonely? I’ve definitely felt lonely as an entrepreneur. How about you? A Google search shows nearly nine million results for the keyword phrase “lonely entrepreneur.”


My eCommerce agency, OMG Commerce, now has 50 team members. Most are in our Springfield, Missouri office, and the rest of the team is spread from coast to coast. Every day I’m in the office, I can have multiple in-person conversations, yet loneliness is still a factor in my entrepreneurial journey. How can that be? 

One of the reasons might be that people don't understand what it is like to run a business. You might (like me) have a CEO or COO (in my case, both). Still, the pressures of the company and the sense of responsibility for your growing team can be substantial. Your team sacrifices much for your business. At the same time, they are marrying, having babies, and buying homes. It can wear on you as you navigate the inevitable ups and downs of client relationships, finances, and changes that are outside your control (iOS-14). Most people don't understand how an entrepreneur’s brain is wired. Those are the times when you’re not understood. How you think, how you feel, and the things you do puzzle those around you. The result can be a lonely place. 

Don’t go it alone. Communicate your challenges, fears, and uncertainties to trusted friends, fellow entrepreneurs, and advisors. Be highly cautious in how you share the above with your team. You might find it cathartic, but remember they’re not the entrepreneur and may not receive the information as you intended it. 

Don’t go it alone. Attend events, masterminds (even virtually) to regularly put yourself around fellow business owners. Your stories are not unique. If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, you’ve inevitably experienced similar if not the exact circumstances as others. When you put yourself physically in front of others who have shared your journey, suddenly loneliness evaporates, and you can gain that sense of certainty that boldly proclaims, “I GOT THIS!”

  1. Read

This is a habit that I’m endeavoring to improve. Reading books on leadership, brand building, entrepreneurship, spirituality, and biographies of amazing people can spur your thinking, inspire your creativity, and equip you with the tools needed to navigate your latest (and next) set of challenges. 

I’m currently reading “Never Lose a Customer Again,” by Joey Coleman. On deck is “This Is Marketing,” by Seth Godin, and “Dare to Lead,” by Brené Brown. One habit that pairs well with reading is morning meditation, and it’s something I’ve recently hit the reset on. That practice evaporated on me during Covid and impacted my spirit and overall sense of well-being. 

You might find my process helpful. It’s simple — Rise, Eat, Pray, Read, Meditate, Pray. Power Through. Rise early enough not to feel hurried. Eat to get your body and mind moving. Pray a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for your blessings. Read to inspire and recharge. My reading during that time happens to be from the Bible. I read a short chapter, meditate on the meaning, and think about how it might apply to my life. Pray once more based on what you felt or experienced during your time of meditation. You’ll find you’ll “Power Through” your day with this practice. 

Let me know how you’re dealing with uncertainty or your practices to bring more certainty to your entrepreneurial journey. Be well. 

Amazon Ads

FBA vs. FBM: Choosing Your Amazon Fulfillment Method

On Amazon, the bottom line is that fulfillment matters! That’s why carefully selecting the right method for your business is one of the first major steps in getting started.

Amber Norrell
October 28, 2021
Amazon Ads
Amazon Brand Management
Marketing

When it comes to Amazon, choosing your fulfillment method can make or break your brand. Everything from profitability, customer satisfaction and product availability on Amazon are affected by fulfillment. To help you get your fulfillment strategy in place, we’ve compiled this resource with everything you’ll need to know about your options. 

Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) Fulfillment

FBA is the most common method of fulfillment on Amazon in which Sellers ship in FBA inventory directly to Amazon. Amazon then handles everything from customer fulfillment to storage to customer service and returns. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider FBA:

  • If your products are not oversized or shipping costs are more efficient than what you can negotiate on your own for 2-day shipping, FBA might be for you.
  • If you are unable to manage fulfillment on your own and offer fast shipping.
  • If you want to handle customer service and returns on your own due to the nature of your product.
  • If you have a good handle on your flow of inventory with products consistently selling through available volume.
  • If you have the bandwidth and resources in place to store and pick & pack inventory.
  • If you are not concerned with the amount of time it takes to ship in inventory before starting.
  • If you have a resource who can carefully oversee inventory and handle replenishments.

Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) Fulfillment

FBM is not as widely used on its own as FBA, but is a solid alternative that gives companies flexibility which have certain business needs. When merchants fulfill Amazon orders themselves, they are accountable for picking, packing, storing, shipping, providing tracking, and handling customer service and returns. If your business falls within the following criteria, FBM may be a good fit for you:

  • If your products are oversized and will not be profitable using FBA fulfillment.
  • If your distribution center is centrally located and can offer fast, 2-day (or faster) shipping. 
  • If you prefer to handle your customer service and returns in house.
  • If your products do not sell consistently or you aren’t certain how a product will perform.
  • If you have the bandwidth and resources to store and pick & pack inventory.
  • If you want to start selling immediately and would prefer not to wait to ship in FBA inventory.
  • If you have a resource that can oversee all Amazon order fulfillment and tracking.

FBA & FBM Hybrid Fulfillment

The second most popular method is actually a hybrid of both fulfillment options offering companies the most flexibility. This is ideal for companies who have a mix of the above-mentioned specifications or find themselves falling within the following categories:

  • If your product costs are similar regardless of whether you fulfill via FBA or FBM.
  • If some of your products are proven best sellers on Amazon with steady sales while other products do smaller, less consistent volume.
  • If you are encountering issues with FBA inventory limits and can’t keep items in stock.
  • If products are running out of stock, FBM can be used as a backup offer to take over buybox whenever FBA runs out and ensure you never go out of stock.
  • If you have inventory on hand and can handle fulfillment, but prefer to open up bandwidth by moving best sellers to FBA.

When determining your fulfillment strategy there is a lot to consider, but one of the key drivers that plays a role in all three of the primary methods is profitability. For a quick and easy assessment of your potential FBA fees, try using Amazon’s FBA Calculator to better gauge which group your products fall within.

Amazon Ads

How To Crush It On Amazon - Getting Started

The hardest part of any big venture is getting started and, we’ll admit, Amazon can definitely be intimidating. We’ve put together this detailed guide to help you!

Amber Norrell
October 21, 2021
Marketing
Amazon Brand Management

The hardest part of any big venture is getting started and, we’ll admit, Amazon can definitely be intimidating. That’s why we’ve put together this detailed guide to help you navigate the initial account setup process to ensure you don’t miss anything along the way!

What You'll Need

Before you get started, you’ll need a handful of info in order to successfully open your Professional Seller account. Make sure you have the following information handy and available.

  • Tax ID
  • State Tax ID
  • A Copy of Your Driver’s License or Passport
  • Legal Business Name
  • Address 
  • Contact Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Credit Card
  • Payment Info (Business Account Info & Routing Number)

It’s important to note that you use a business entity, credit card and tax IDs that have never been used to open an account. Though Amazon now permits more than one seller account for separate business entities, don’t create complications for yourself by trying to create an account with a business that has been used in the past.

Also, in terms of your credit card, consider using a payment method that has a strong rewards program as you will wrack up a lot of valuable points as your brand scales. 

Things to Consider

 In addition to the basic information you’ll need to get started, you’ll also need to have a gameplan for your basic Amazon operational procedures before you start selling. Here are the top things to ask and discuss before you get started.

Customer Service

  • Do you have a dedicated person who can handle customer service inquiries?
  • Are there any common concerns with your products that your customer service rep should be aware of?
  • How will you handle dissatisfied customers? Will you offer a complimentary product or refund through the “Customer Reviews” tool?
  • Will your CS rep be able to meet Amazon’s 24-hour response time expectation, including on weekends?

Category Restrictions

  • Have you checked Amazon’s Restricted Categories to ensure that you will be able to list your product once you open your account?
  • If your product does fall into one of these categories, are you prepared to apply to sell in the category and provide the necessary documentation?

Fulfillment

  • Do you plan to use Fulfillment By Amazon, Fulfillment By Merchant, or Both?
  • If FBA, do you have a point person who can oversee inventory and handle FBA replenishment?
  • If FBM, have you negotiated best rates with your carrier and can you accomplish fast shipping (preferably 2 days or less) from your location?

Returns

  • If you plan to use FBM, where do you intend to have customers return products?

Reviews

  • Do you have a strategy in place for gathering initial reviews?
  • How do you plan to address negative feedback?

How to Set Up Your Account

After you have had a chance to gather the necessary information and get some basic operational plans in place, you’ll need to get your account set up. To do this visit Amazon and click “Sign Up”.

Next, click “Create Your Amazon Account”.


Enter your Name, Email Address, Password, and click “Next”.

Enter the OTP sent to your email address and click “Create your Amazon account”.


Select your Business Location and Business Type. Enter your Business Name, check next to the confirmation, and click “Agree and continue”.

On the following page, enter your Business Registration Number, Business Address, Phone Number, and Primary Contact Person. After validating your Phone Number, click “Next”.


Enter all required information for beneficial owners of the store and click “Save”.


Next, you will need to enter your payment information. Click “I Understand” to proceed.

Enter your Financial Institution Name, Routing Number, Account number, and click “Verify Bank Account”.

Enter your Credit Card Number, Expiration Date, Cardholder’s Name, and click “Next”.

Enter the necessary Store information and click “Next”.

Complete the Identity Verification and click “Submit”.

You will then be prompted to set up a Video Verification Call and Address Verification to complete the process. After you have completed the verifications, you will be able to access your account.

Google Ads

How To Optimize Standard Shopping Campaigns in 3 Easy Steps

OMG Commerce’s Matt Slaymaker lays out three easy ways that any business can improve their Google Shopping results and how you can start doing this today.

Matt Slaymaker
October 7, 2021
Agency
Google Ads
Marketing

So you just launched your first standard shopping campaign. Congratulations, you’re well on your way to dominating the Google Shopping results! 

However, if you’re not careful - you can either find yourself in a situation where you are showing up for too many searches that you do not want to show up for, or not showing up enough for the searches that would be very relevant for your business. In this article, we are going to talk about three easy ways that any business can improve their standard Shopping results and how you can do this today.

Use Negative Keywords to Reduce Wasted Spend

One of the most significant advantages of Google Standard Shopping Campaigns over Google Smart Shopping Campaigns is the fact that Standard Shopping Campaigns allow advertisers to view the search terms report, giving us insight into the searches that triggered our shopping ads to show. In this report, you will find many searches that are relevant for our business, but likely many that you would never want to show Shopping Ads for. Let’s look at how we can add negative keywords to reduce waste.

When you look at the search term report (found in the Keywords section of Google Ads), sort your columns by either clicks or cost to see if the most common terms that are triggering your ads to show. Let’s say that one of these keywords stands out as something you would like to exclude. First, click the checkbox next to the keyword that is not relevant for your business; at the top of the page, you will see a section that says add as a negative keyword, click this option, and then you will be prompted to either add the keyword as a negative for an ad group, A campaign, or a negative keyword list. 

Where should you add your negative keyword? It depends. Here are some examples of wind to do each of these situations. 

 

Ad Group Negative Keywords: Let’s say that you are a barbecue company that sells seasonings for meat. One of your shopping campaigns is focused on your spicy barbecue rubs, with ad groups broken out by flavor: one ad group containing your jalapeño rub, one ad group containing your habanero flavor, and your other ad group containing your mild spice. In this situation, our goal would be to ensure that jalapeño searches only appear for the jalapeño rub, that habanero searches only appear for the habanero rub, and so forth. The more relevant that our shopping listing is for the user’s search, the more likely they are to click on our shopping at and ultimately convert. We wouldn’t want someone searching for “jalapeno bbq rubs” to get one of our ads about habanero bbq rubs, as they are less likely to click on this product than our jalapeno bbq rub.

 

Campaign Negative Keywords: At the campaign level, let’s use the same example of a barbecue company that sells not only rubs, but sauces as well. In one campaign they house all of their BBQ rubs, and in another campaign, they house all of their barbecue sauces. In this situation, we would want to add barbecue rubs and seasonings as negative keywords for the sauce groups and vice versa. This is due to the same logic as the ad group level negatives, but looking at product categories rather than product variations within a category. If someone searches for “bbq sauce”, we want to ensure that the only ads of ours they will see are our bbq sauces, not any of our rubs/seasonings.

 

Negative Keyword Lists: When it comes to the negative keyword list, there are many types of lists that you can create. Typically we will create at least two major types of lists: An “out of scope” negative keyword list, which contains keywords that we never want to show for due to a lack of relevance; and a “ brand protection” negative keyword list, which contains any keywords that we do not want our brand associated with due to branding or legal concerns. Your “out-of-scope negative keyword list” is most typically what you will use, and is something that you can apply to all of your campaigns. This is particularly useful for making bulk additions of negative keywords. 

 

For this, we will use a different example. Let’s say you are a men’s skincare business. Some negative keywords that we could add to our “out-of-scope negative keyword list” could include: “womens skincare”, “skincare for women and men”, “best womens face wash”, etc. Since we only sell men’s skincare products, there are no situations where we would want to show up for users looking for women’s skincare products. We want to ensure that the keywords that trigger our ads to show are from people who are most likely to convert.

Use Automated Bidding To Ease Management and Improve Results

Once your campaigns begin to receive conversions, approximately 20 conversions per 30 days per campaign, you will be ready to switch to an automated bid strategy. We suggest using target ROAS or maximize conversion value, as these bidding strategies aim to maximize your profitability with Google shopping ads. 

For Target ROAS, you simply tell Google Ads what your ROAS goal is, and Google Ads will try to achieve an average ROAS equal to your target across all campaigns using this strategy. Some conversions may return a higher ROAS and some may return a lower ROAS, but altogether Google Ads will try to keep your conversion value per cost equal to the target ROAS you set.

For Maximize Conversion Value, Google uses historical information about your campaign and evaluates the contextual signals present at auction-time. This bid strategy automatically finds an optimal CPC bid for your ad each time it's eligible to appear. Google will seek the conversions that are the most valuable for your campaign while spending your budget.

These automated bit strategies rely on Google’s algorithm and machine learning to increase visibility for the users that Google believes are more likely to convert, and to decrease visibility for those that Google believes are not likely to convert. Once you have sufficient conversion data, an automated bid strategy will not only see better performance than a manual bid strategy, but it will be significantly easier to manage.

Ensure Titles, Descriptions, and Product Type Are Optimized

Your product feed is what tells Google what types of searches that you want your shopping ads to appear for. If your product feed uses very broad and generic terms, then you are likely going to show up for very broad and generic terms. The more specific and relevant you can make your titles, descriptions, and product types - the more likely you will be to have immediate success with Google shopping ads. 

A well-optimized product feed will reduce the need for adding negative keywords, and will also improve click-through rates and conversion rates over time. 

When it comes to your product title, include the most important information first, such as the primary non-branded keyword that you want to show up for. You will also want to include supplemental information such as your brand name, the product qualifiers such as the size of the packaging quantity, the color, and anything else that would potentially be important to the user. Include the most important information at the front of the title and the least important information near the back. Here is an example of a well-optimized product title: “jalapeño bbq rub 1 pound bag, spicy blend of salt, pepper and jalapeño, [brand name] barbecue”. 

Kosmo’s Q has well-optimized titles, putting the non-branded term near the front.

Here is an example of a poorly optimized title: 1 pound bag [brand name] BBQ jalapeño rub”. While the second title could end up working, the first title will maximize your chances of success.

These Meat Church product titles could likely use optimization. 

When it comes to the description, add as much content that is relevant as your character space allows for. You have plenty of character space to work with here (5,000 characters), so try to pull as much relevant information from the website as possible. Lead with your most important information such as details about the product, the ingredients, and what makes it good, but also include information about your brand that makes you unique. If your products are homemade, made in America, made naturally, cruelty-free, gluten-free, etc. make sure that you are highlighting this information about yourself in your description. 

Lastly, when it comes to your product type, these are to be treated as if they were keywords for search ads. To use the jalapeño barbecue rub example, your product type for this product could be “BBQ rubs > spicy barbecue rubs >  jalapeño barbecue rubs > jalapeño seasoning > [brand name] barbecue seasoning”. These will help Google identify the types of searches that you want your shopping ads to appear for. We advise A/B. testing this over time, where you create additional product variations and adjust your product type to see the impact on your search terms.

While there are many more advanced tactics and strategies for optimizing your results with Google’s Standard Shopping campaigns, if you are able to: 1) add negative keywords to keep your search results relevant to your brand, 2) automate your bidding to take advantage of Google’s machine learning, and 3) make simple edits to your product feed to tell Google what you want your shopping ads to show up for; then you will be well on your way to seeing great results with Google Shopping.


Culture

Q&A: New Hire Training

While every business model is unique and the specific training topics may vary, clear and focused training should be a consistent priority.

Sarah Still
September 23, 2021
Agency
Leadership

Q: Curious if you spend most of the time during onboarding teaching new team members the technical "how to's” or talking about culture and expectations, or discovering places where they can add value.

1. The technical "how to's" 

Yes - even if you don't have a really clear picture right away of the role, the more knowledge and training the better. Knowledge truly is power and if you want to grow, you need to share as much info as possible. The more your leadership and everyone else on your team understands about your structure and everything involved in the business, the better equipped they will be to bring ideas to the table that you don't have time to think of. Every team member that joins us shadows every role, regardless of what department they are part of. Account managers go through a lot of the same Google and Amazon training that specialists do, even though they aren't doing the implementation. We need everyone to have a comprehensive understanding so they can collaborate strategically, and they can't do that if they don't understand the roles and responsibilities of the rest of the team they’ve joined. 

Admittedly, our onboarding used to be more like a push into the deep end, but it’s evolved into more of a zero entry, with a sudden drop off after learning how to swim. Our 6-8 week training system (based in the Google Classroom and Teamwork platforms) consists of:

  • In-person sessions - this is the time-consuming part - try to minimize this as you develop your system by using the rest of this list
  • Videos - find them online or make your own
  • Online resources - certifications, training platforms, readings, blogs, podcasts
  • Job shadowing - every role, anywhere from 2-4 hours each
  • Call recordings - we record EVERY client call so have lots of good stuff for new team members to listen and learn from
  • Observation docs & vlogs - we have new team members take notes that we review from every call they listen to or person they shadow so we can catch any misunderstandings. This also helps track their level of engagement, curiosity, and culture fit - we terminated someone within their first 30 days because it became clear they weren't a good fit for the role/team just by their notes and engagement in training. We also have a frequency of video blogs (vlogs) that they record, initially daily, then weekly, to give another avenue of feedback and confirmation that they are learning and engaged.
  • Tag-teaming - instead of passive shadowing, after 4-6 weeks we move into hands-on, step-by-step tag-teaming of a new account with someone in their same role.
  • Reverse shadowing - 6-8 weeks after joining the team, assigned a new account, with a more veteran partner shadowing to confirm processes and standards are understood and implemented. Repeat x3.

Curiosity makes it possible for anyone to work in digital marketing.

My development with OMG is a long story, but it all really boils down to the fact that the more I learned about what we do, even though I never actually DID any of it, the better equipped I was to make realistic budgets, develop realistic long-term hiring and growth plans, implement the vision of the owners, and develop the day-to-day operations and systems of the business. Brandi Johnston, our Director of Account Management and Head of Reporting, had never worked in SEO before joining our team 8 years ago and is now one of the most knowledgeable SEO professionals in the country, and is also incredibly knowledgeable about Amazon and Google because she is the type of person that wants to learn so she can best support her team. Chris Tyler, our Director of Amazon, had never done anything in digital marketing before joining our team 5 years ago and now is the visionary behind a department that grew 78% last year. Until recently, it seemed people found themselves involved in digital marketing more by accident than by intention. Early stages of agency or brand development is a great time to capitalize on that. As you grow you will find that you will require more prior knowledge/experience when hiring because your clients will require that level of expertise in their client team, but I miss when we could simply find the right personality and teach them everything they need to know (we still do this to build an internal bench, but can't anymore for the lead roles).

2. Talking about culture and expectations

Culture

Yes - we really immerse new team members in our culture during week one general OMG training, with a recap with me during week two. Then they're a part of it. In our organization, our culture is used as a decision-making tool and as our guideposts for everything we do, so it's really like living in a constant refresher once you get started. We immerse ourselves in reminders of our culture values, using our weekly team meetings, individual conversations, and group syncs as opportunities to recommit to the values and standards that are so valuable to our team.

Expectations

Our entire training process is designed to establish expectations and standards. Throughout we’re discussing not just how we do things, but why. Actually, we’re better at the why. Because the platforms we work on change so quickly and frequently, it’s important to hire people who are tech-savvy enough to be able to figure out where to go to get the job done, and curious enough to ask if they can’t figure it out. But digging into the strategy and purpose behind the how, that’s the foundation of our training.

3. Discovering places where they can add value

Nope, not during onboarding. 

During onboarding we want new team members to feel like we have a concrete plan as much as possible, even if we know that it could very likely change. It gives them a sense of security and confidence in what they're working towards so they can really focus as they go through training. It also takes time to see them at work to give us an idea of their full skill sets and interests. 

But YES.

This is my absolute favorite part of what I do. So many of OMG’s team members started in completely different positions, and a lot of them are now in roles that didn't even exist in our organization before they were created just for them. If someone is gravitating towards something, give them all the training resources and room to explore it as possible because if you can develop experts in areas that directly apply to your business, it's a win/win. They're living their best life doing what they love every day, and you're capitalizing on what they're best at. If you haven't read Nine Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham, I highly recommend it. I strongly agree with him that a person will be the most satisfied and successful by living within their strengths rather than trying to work on their weaknesses, and the more you can discover those strengths and support the weaknesses, the more value you'll receive from each individual, making the whole department, team, and company better.

What’s the point?

Ultimately, the goal of our training process is to develop confidence in both our new team members and our established team who will now be trusting them with client work and communications, as well as reduce risk on the client side. The target is someone who not only fully understands the standards and expectations, but owns and values them the same way we do. We know we’ve succeeded when our team shares their experience working with new hires, by sharing kudos and client wins or providing feedback for training improvement. 

Amazon Ads

What’s New on Amazon? Cutting Edge Features & Strategies for Q4 & Beyond

New betas have been rolling out under the radar on Amazon nearly every few days for the past several months making it challenging to know where to get started.

Amber Norell
September 9, 2021
Amazon Ads
Marketing
Amazon Brand Management

Based on previous years, spotting big changes to the Amazon selling platform during slower Q2 and Q3 months is nothing out of the ordinary. However, in 2021, we’re seeing more shiny new tools than ever before all being released in rapid succession. It almost seems as though Amazon put betas on the back burner in 2020 and kept numerous new releases in their toolbox until operations began to return to “normal” this year. 

Overall, we’re seeing a lot of opportunity in these exciting new launches and are pumped to put them to the test. Here are some of the top new tools, strategies, and beta programs that can help you get an edge during Q4.

Brand Referral Bonus

Amazon sellers can now earn bonus commissions from driving traffic from off Amazon. According to Amazon, the average commission is 10% of sales generated from external traffic! Eligible brands will receive their bonus for qualified sales beginning in September.

Some may rightfully ask, “Why would I drive traffic to Amazon rather than your own site?” The bottom line is that Amazon loves external traffic that converts and rewards you with organic ranking in exchange for that traffic.


Google to Amazon Ads

Aside from being able to recoup some of your cost from the new Brand Referral Bonus program, if you are strategic, you can capitalize on opportunities where customers are more likely to purchase on Amazon. One of the key opportunities we’ve identified is driving traffic from Google directly to Amazon on relevant search phrases that include “Amazon” or “Prime”. This indicates that those individuals are specifically looking to purchase the product with their Prime membership and are less likely to purchase from your site. 

During initial flights, we’ve found that CPC is significantly lower for Google to Amazon ads when compared to Sponsored Product ads. Plus, it gives brands a competitive advantage by enabling them to run a dedicated ad for their product rather than being lumped in among multiple competitors on Amazon landing pages dedicated to Google ad efforts. Since Amazon is Google’s #1 source of ad spend, this is a great starting point for testing off-Amazon spend that actually converts.


Sponsored Brand Video Product Targeting Segment

Recently, Amazon released product targeting under the radar for Sponsored Brand Video ads. With CPC on the rise, we are super excited to see another segment available for video-based ads. Not only can you set up defensive ads on your own product display page to block out the competition, but you can also target top competitors in a space many sellers aren’t even aware of yet. We see a lot of opportunity to split test various creatives showcasing the benefits and unique selling points that make your product stand out among the competition.


Sponsored Display Top of Funnel Audience Segments

Sponsored Display has also implemented new Top of Funnel segments, similar to DSP, including targeting options like “In Market” and “Lifestyle”. These can be a great way to push ads higher in the funnel to fuel your retargeting efforts on products which may not be eligible for DSP.


Sponsored Display Bidding Strategies

Sponsored Display ads have been making great strides this year in terms of flexibility and functionality. Amazon recently implemented new bidding strategies which include the options to “Optimize for page visits” or “Optimize for Conversions” giving you more control over whether you want to push for awareness or a stronger return.

Customer Engagement Beta

For those of you who have capitalized on the free traffic Amazon Posts offers, in addition to those posts now showing in additional placements including your storefront, they also have a new major benefit. 

Sellers who have accumulated at least 500 brand followers from Amazon Posts can now access the Customer Engagement beta which allows sellers to email customers and highlight products. This can be a great additional strategy to implement and test during your next product launch. 

You can access this beta in Seller Central or Vendor Central under “Brands” - “Customer Engagement”. If you have the required number of followers but don’t have access, reach out to your Amazon rep to request access.


Budgets Beta

Amazon’s new “Budget” Beta in the advertising console lets you review your budgets against key performance indicators to provide more clarity as to which campaigns will benefit from higher budgets. It also provides some super helpful projections such as how much you are estimated to lose in sales, impressions and clicks by not lifting budget. Additionally, it provides further insight into how much of a budget increase is recommended.

Budget Rules

In addition to advanced budget reporting, the new “Budget Rules” beta within campaigns allows you to apply more advanced budget rules to your campaigns. While it doesn’t quite offer advanced dayparting options as some sellers may hope to see, it can be helpful for managing budgets on larger accounts during peak selling dates.

Creative Assets Beta

Another cool new feature Amazon has added to the advertising console is the “Creative Assets” tool. It enables sellers to upload creative assets including images and videos so that they can be easily stored, organized and filtered when creating new ad campaigns. Creatives stored here go through a moderation process and are reviewed so that they can be pre-approved and ready to go whenever you submit a new ad using that creative.

Targeting Beta

The new “Targeting” beta that is slowly being rolled out across accounts is an excellent way to deep dive into your targeting segments. The dashboard offers an easy to navigate, high-level overview of targeting performance and pinpoints underserved areas that may have potential to scale through increased bids.

Mobile Storefront Customization

With Amazon leading the industry with the most popular shopping app in mobile stores and consequently a massive amount of mobile sales, optimization of listings for mobile has always been highly important. That’s why we’re very excited to see that Amazon has now taken steps to enable sellers to optimize their Amazon storefront for mobile experiences.

Storefront Engagement

In addition to customization for mobile storefronts, Amazon has also introduced a helpful new “Engagement” dashboard on “Storefront Insights” to provide more detail as to how consumers interact with your Amazon storefront.

Brand Catalog Manager

Thanks to the Brand Catalog Manager introduced by Amazon early this year, brand owners don’t have to be as reliant on expensive 3p tools to monitor unauthorized sellers. It does a fair job of identifying areas of opportunity and assigning the potential value next to each missed opportunity.

  

Overall, in 2021, we’ve seen Amazon stepping up their game and elevating the platform on the seller side. With new betas and features rolling out every few weeks, now is the time to start exploring what these new tools have to offer. Start running small tests now to determine which of these new features will have the greatest impact for your brand and how to maximize your efforts this year!

Amazon Ads

What Happened to Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime in 2021?

Sellers have become increasingly concerned about the repercussions of losing the Amazon Prime badge. To help clear up some of the confusion, we synced with top FBM sellers.

Amber Norell
August 26, 2021
Amazon Ads
Marketing

With a heavy, longstanding reliance on the Amazon Prime badge for improved conversion rate and sales velocity, changes to Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime program have left both seasoned sellers and novices concerned about how to adapt and thrive with Amazon’s changing fulfillment practices. To help clear up some of the confusion, we’ve synced with some of the top FBM sellers on Amazon, whose primary business models were largely reliant on SFP…until this year. Here’s what we found out:

What is the current status of SFP? 

  • SFP is still running in a limited capacity and Amazon will not disclose definitive details regarding its status or timeline.
  • Despite the SFP waitlist page still being live, Amazon is not actively looking to expand its’ SFP Program or add new brands. 
  • Amazon continues to make regular changes and add more restrictions that make it increasingly difficult to meet requirements over the past several months. 
  • The working theory among top sellers is that Amazon is continuously pushing the boundaries on restrictions until the program becomes obsolete.

What should you do about the changes to SFP?

  • Continue filling FBM orders on your own, but work on offering competitive shipping timelines.
  • If you are still enrolled in the SFP program, keep oversize items or other items that are still eligible and have supporting margins in SFP as long as it makes sense.
  • Given the widespread change and consumers adapting to the change, you shouldn’t be as concerned if you lose the Amazon Prime badge or SFP eligibility.

Is there an alternative program in the works?

  • Despite rumors that SFP was being replaced with a more stringent program, there has been no official confirmation that another program will take over.

What are some tips or recommendations as a workaround for not having the Prime badge?

  • Treat your FBM listings just as you would FBA listings. Optimize your listing title, bullets, description, and backend keywords. Add enhanced A+ Content and link the product to your storefront. 
  • Ensure reviews are in place and are being carefully monitored.
  • Applying a full-funnel advertising strategy to healthy, optimized listings with fast shipping to drive awareness and sales can be very effective in scaling your FBM products.

What are some recommendations on inexpensive, fast 3P fulfillment centers or fulfillment options that are more cost effective than FBA? 

  • Popular 3P Fulfillment services like Deliverr often cost just as much as FBA depending on the product and won’t work as an alternative to FBA. 
  • Instead, they are optimal for multi-channel fulfillment and are ideal for companies that sell products that are suitable for FBA, but are available on a large number of channels.
  • Instead, search for a more personalized fulfillment center that is designed for FBM profitability and is centrally located for fast shipping. 
  • If you are fulfilling orders yourself, work with your courier to negotiate discounted freight rates on faster shipping methods and improve your FBM margins even further.

What are some additional things to look out for with the changes to SFP during 2021?

  • Amazon adds a handling day and you can’t take that day off unless it is Prime with FBA or SFP, so be aware that this can be factored into estimated delivery dates.

What are some positive changes that have occurred with the adjustments to SFP? 

  • After testing both with SFP and without in 2021, many sellers are finding that the Prime badge is not nearly as important as it used to be in order to excel on Amazon with FBM in terms of conversion rate and impact to volume.
  • Since many sellers could not sustain SFP anymore starting this year after changes were made, consumers are beginning to adapt. 
  • At this time, most shoppers now seem to be opting for fast shipping rather than a Prime badge, so what’s really important is offering fast shipping options and not having stock issues with delayed ship dates.

What are some top tips for winning Self-Fulfilled Shipping on Amazon in 2021? 

  • If your cost to offer 2-day shipping cuts too far into your margin, add it to the list price.
  • Sellers are finding that people rarely notice the additional cost as long as it is not itemized separately as “Shipping”.
  • Consumers are programmed to look at the shipping date and not the price. 
  • When adjusting your prices to accommodate fast shipping, your biggest concern should be that your offer is winning the buy box. 
  • If you have your own brand registered private label and products with no 3p sellers, the heightened price will not cause any concern unless you are selling under the same UPC off Amazon at a lower price.
  • When it comes to winning buy box, also ensure that you have enough product on hand to keep the product “in stock” and avoid drastic fluctuations in BSR from out of stock items.

With rumors circulating throughout 2021 regarding the future of Seller Fulfilled Prime, sellers have become increasingly concerned about the repercussions of losing the Amazon Prime badge. Despite the importance of the Prime badge being a constant for many years, since the changes and effects are widespread, SFP’s transformation seems to be working out for sellers. Fortunately, the marketplace and consumers appear to be quickly adjusting and adopting new shopping behaviors. Favoring fast shipping over a Prime badge is quickly becoming the new norm.

Culture

You’ve hired… Now what?

A team member’s first day is their first impression on your organization, priorities, and communication. Emphasize expectations with your actions, not just words.

Sarah Still
August 12, 2021
Culture
Agency
Leadership

Question: I'm curious to know what your recommendations are related to onboarding. From the article I read, it sounds like you have a really solid process laid out, and you try to give really clear expectations for their first day. I wanted to hear a bit more.

OMG’s Onboarding Process

Templates are key when it comes to increasing efficiency and effectiveness. Every time we go through a new team member onboarding (employee or freelancer), we use our templates while also critically evaluating them for necessary updates and making those changes as we go. Each of these templates gets tweaked a bit for remote or freelance team members.

New Hire Email Templates

1. Subject Line: OMG - It’s almost time!

Sent to their personal email 4-5 days in advance of their first day, this email provides new team members with details such as:

  • Detailed first-day schedule - Since they won’t have access to their calendar until after they arrive, we give them a breakdown of their first day so they know what meetings to expect and how their non-scheduled time will be used. 
  • First-month schedule/expectations - We have a unique culture of high standards and best practices that facilitates a very independent day-to-day experience for team members. Sometimes that flexibility causes anxiety when a previous experience was structured and rigid. Informing new team members that they will be expected to create their own schedule while also explaining that their first 90 days will be the easiest of their career with OMG helps set the tone of interdependent autonomy.
  • Lunch and dress code expectations - These are (local) new employee’s front-of-mind, first-day questions. Having an answer reduces the stress and anxiety of the first-day “how do they do things” unknowns.
  • Ask them a few get-to-know-you questions and request a photo that we can use for a Slack intro to the rest of the team.

Basically, this is a FAQ email to make them confident walking (or calling) into the first day. The feedback we received was that the addition of this email to our onboarding process was life-changing for new hires.

2. Remote Team Members Only: Your OMG Login Info 

This email is sent early in the morning on the first day for remote team members. This provides them with their email and password so they can sign in and get started. For local team members, this information is provided in person when we hand them their laptop.

3. Subject Line:  🏁 🏁 Start Here 🏁 🏁 

This email gets sent to their OMG email address for them to read on their first day. It gives them:

  • Access to our team contact info sheet
  • My cell phone number
  • Introduces their training coordinator
  • Provides links to our core platforms and tools with a brief description of the purpose/use of each (TPM, OMG Wiki, Drive, Calendar, Slack)

Onboarding Checklist

In order to provide a streamlined experience for new team members, it is important to develop a consistent process that allows new team members to get set up and connected with the various team members that will support their onboarding. This checklist should include tasks for everyone involved in onboarding, including Finance, HR, IT, Admin, and Leadership. The checklist should function in a way that prepares the team for a new member’s first day, giving them what they need, when they need it, without needing to ask. Our new employee onboarding task list includes over 65 tasks, which might seem excessive, BUT consider that those 65+ items need to be done for every single new hire, and several of them would easily be forgotten or delayed if there wasn’t a trigger. The creation of an onboarding process and checklist does take intention and time, but saves much more time than it takes, and makes the process seamless and stress-free for everyone involved. This process continues to evolve and requires updates as the company grows, but it is much easier to add or update a task as needed than to work through an outdated list.

First-Day Schedule

Having a structured first day (week, month) is one of the best ways to help new team members feel established and productive. If you’re hiring the right people, they will be antsy to get in and start working, whatever that looks like. Without a plan, this is difficult to implement when every other member of the team already has a full-time job they’re focused on! Developing a first-day routine supports both the new team member and team members involved in onboarding with consistent expectations. 

 

Sample schedule - We always start new team members on Mondays so that they can be a part of the weekly team meeting. The template may need to be customized based on role and schedule, whether remote or local, and italicized sections.

  • 9am - Arrive at the office! Name, our Office Manager, will show you to your desk and where you can grab some coffee before our first meeting of the day.
  • 9:30am - Whole-team meeting. No need to be nervous, this is a weekly meeting and a great way to launch this new chapter of your life with OMG. This is typically a 15-20 minute meeting.
  • 10am - Office tour and HR paperwork and payroll platform training with Name, our HR Coordinator.
  • 11am - Initial Check-In with your Director, Name.
  • 12pm - First Day lunch - Our treat! We will be ordering lunch in and eating with our Department/Roles! If you have any diet restrictions or favorites, please let us know. 
  • 1pm - Flex time - Dig into your email, review your calendar events, and take some time to get to know the team!
  • 4pm - Feel free to hang out a while longer or get home and take a brain break. It's a lot of info for the first day!

A hard day’s work...

A new team member’s first day is their first impression on your organization, priorities, and communication. Details matter, and the unspoken messages sent leading up to and during the first day informs new team members of your real expectations. Whether it’s using these steps or others, make sure you’re emphasizing expectations with your actions, not just your words.

Marketing

Holiday Prep 2021 - 7 Ways to Maximize Sales

The 2021 holiday shopping season is sure to be an interesting one. The eCommerce COVID boom is changing a bit as in-person shopping opens back up and competition is heating up.

Brett Curry
July 30, 2021
Amazon Ads
Google Ads
Marketing
YouTube
Cyber 5

When holiday shopping kicks into full swing, luck will favor the prepared. Proper planning and execution are what separate the eCommerce winners from the losers - especially during the holidays. At OMG Commerce we’ve been helping online businesses capitalize on holiday shopping for the better part of a decade.  Nothing is as exciting for online retailers as a holiday shopping season that exceeds expectations.  By the same token, few things are as disheartening as a holiday shopping season that falls short of goals.  Especially when it’s in your control to have a great season.

In this article, I want to outline what we expect for Holiday Shopping 2021 and how you can best prepare.  

First, a few things that we expect:

  • Online shopping growth will slow, but eCommerce will have another record year.  Last year, fueled by the pandemic, online shopping grew a whopping 32.5% year-over-year. That kind of growth obviously isn’t sustainable.  Especially considering that online shopping had been growing at a pretty steady ~15% YoY prior to the pandemic. For 2021, eMarketer estimates that online shopping will grow YoY just 11%. While that’s a slower growth rate than last year, it’s still impressive. And it means we will have another record holiday season with online sales counting for a whopping 18.9% of total holiday sales.  

 

  • Mobile online purchases will approach 75% of all eCommerce purchases. It’s no secret that mobile shopping makes up the majority of online shopping and research.  This year online purchases made on mobile devices are estimated to be 73% of all online purchases (Statista report). I hope your mobile ad game is on target.  
  • Digital Ad Spending will be frothy.  No surprise here, but we’ve seen ad costs this year rise 20-25% YoY at times.  Last year during holiday shopping, our advertisers saw ad costs increase 20% YoY.  We expect to see similar cost increases this holiday season too.  

Ready to dominate holiday shopping this year? Here are 7 tips to get you poised and ready for an amazing year. 

TIP 1 : Go Full Funnel - But Be Flexible

Online ad costs always reach their peak during the frenzy of holiday shopping.  That typically means that during Cyber 5 (the five-day period that starts with Thanksgiving, includes Black Friday, and ends with Cyber Monday) and into early December we see the highest ad costs.  If Prime Day and Q2 ad performance are any indication, this year’s holiday shopping season will continue the upward trend in CPCs and CPMs.  As a reference, we saw ad costs during Prime Day rise 25% this year compared to last year’s Prime Day.  Last year during Cyber 5, we saw CPCs rise 20% YoY for our clients (Cyber 5 2020 recap).  Rising costs are never ideal, but it’s not all bad news. The good news is that conversion rates usually rise faster than ad costs during the holidays.  Last year conversion rates rose 50% at the same time ad costs rose 20%. So paying a premium for ads was still worth it for most of our clients. 

So, how do we need to go full funnel, but still be flexible?  During the holiday season, the same shopping activities of product discovery (awareness), product evaluation (consideration), and product selection (purchase) still take place, but in a more condensed manner. During non-holiday times shoppers feel free to explore products, comparison shop, and possibly delay their purchase a bit to make sure they get the perfect product and the right deal. During the holidays, gifts must be purchased and purchased quickly.  Little Suzie isn’t very enthusiastic about opening a present on December 27th just so her parents could save a buck.  While the general rule for the season is that conversion rates increase higher than ad costs, there are some periods during the holidays that are just too competitive for certain types of ad campaigns.   

Here’s how we look at your various campaigns — whether you’re reaching someone in their discovery phase (what we call awareness campaigns), when they are in product evaluation mode (consideration campaigns), or when they have their wallet out ready to select their product (purchase campaigns).  

  • Run awareness campaigns all holiday season, but be ready to slow down spend on these types of campaigns when ad costs become untenable.  Shoppers are still looking for ideas all throughout the holiday shopping season, so running top of funnel awareness campaigns on YouTube and Facebook during the holiday shopping season can still be a great move. But, when ad costs get really high, awareness campaigns might be hard to justify. Usually you want to push hard on awareness campaigns leading up to holiday shopping, and then be flexible during holiday shopping, depending on how much ad costs adjust.  During the peak of Cyber 5 you might need to slow down your ad spend on top-of-funnel awareness campaigns.  
  • Run consideration and remarketing (purchase) campaigns all season, but be ready to lean into these a little harder when you need to pause or slow down your awareness campaigns.  During Cyber 5 and into early December you’ll likely need to shift more budget into your search, shopping, and remarketing campaigns as you pull back some from your awareness campaigns that you’re running on YouTube and Facebook.  

TIP 2 : Get clear visibility into consumer behavior by triangulating your conversion data

At this time, the biggest concern at the front of my mind is conversion tracking in the midst of online privacy changes. iOS 14 and other privacy initiatives are making conversion tracking increasingly difficult. This makes it really hard to see what campaigns are working and what campaigns aren’t so you can make proper adjustments.  I think it’s becoming imperative to consider third-party attribution tools that rely on first-party data.  I typically recommend the use of in-platform data (what you see in Google Ads or Facebook ads manager), plus Google Analytics, and a third-party provider.  Some of our current client favorites are North Beam, Wicked Reports, and Hyros.  While each of these tools have their pros and cons (no tool is perfect), I definitely think you should consider a tool like this if you aren’t already using one.  

TIP 3 : Build Your Lists

Leading up to the holiday season is the best time to build your lists. What lists am I referring to?  

Remarketing lists. You want robust and up-to-date remarketing lists that you can target with your Google, YouTube, and Facebook ads.  We usually split our lists up into 30-day, 60-day and 90-day segments.  You might consider shorter duration segments like 1-day, 7-day, and 14-day segments depending on how much traffic you get. What specific remarketing lists do we recommend?  

  • All site visitors  
  • All purchasers 
  • Abandoned cart
  • All product page viewers

Email lists. Having a properly segmented email list that you can send offers too is an absolute must during the holidays.  What lists do we recommend?

  • All subscribers, non-buyers
  • All buyers, segmented by product category
  • All repeat buyers (VIPs)

SMS list. Want to really step up your SMS game?  Listen to this podcast I recorded with Arri Bagah of Conversmart on 4 Keys to Effective Text Marketing.  

The good news is that you can continue to drive sales while you build your lists. Remarketing campaigns are usually cheaper and more efficient than prospecting campaigns and the cost to deliver emails and SMS messages is super affordable. For our clients, remarketing customer acquisition costs are often half to one-third the cost of cold traffic customer acquisition costs. If you build your audiences now, you’ll have the opportunity to shift more of your budget to your remarketing lists when top of funnel awareness campaigns become too expensive. 

TIP 4 : Provide The Right Offer At The Right Time

Holiday shoppers are looking for the right product at the right deal. They don’t want to make a poor gift buying decision and they don’t want to over pay. Here are some things to consider as you plan out your holiday offers. 

  • People expect deals, offers, and “on-point” messaging. Shoppers expect something special during the holidays. Keeping your message or your offers exactly the same as the rest of the year will likely result in subpar conversion rates.  
  • Craft deals that will motivate customers while protecting your brand. Going too deep on price cuts can result in a quick sales bonanza, but could damage your brand and train shoppers not to pay full retail price later. We have several clients who rarely offer discounts. In those cases a simple 10% discount on certain products can feel like a big deal and will still protect your brand value. Bundling products can also be an easy way to discount without making it seem like you’re slashing prices out of desperation. Plus, bundles can make gift buying easier. Bundles can often make for better gifts than a single product. 
  • Deals are important, but so is convenience. What about helping people achieve their ultimate goal - getting the right gift at the right time with little hassle? How about highlighting fast shipping or at least guaranteed shipping dates? Sometimes convenience outweighs saving a buck for certain shoppers if they’re convinced that your products are the perfect gift. 
  • Deals that don’t involve discounting your core product. What about free bonus gifts or mystery gifts? Our friends at Groove Life now offer a deeply discounted “mystery gift” ring as an upsell when you’re ordering your ring. This is a brilliant strategy any time, but especially during the holidays. A mystery ring could be a perfect stocking stuffer or gift for that hard-to-buy-for special someone. And they are using mystery rings likely to get rid of unsold inventory.

TIP 5 : Fill In The Holes

Your Search and Shopping Approach - We audit hundreds of Google Ads accounts each year in addition to the accounts we manage on an ongoing basis. It’s very common for us to audit accounts that are doing fine on the surface, but are missing serious opportunities for growth. It’s not uncommon to see search and shopping campaigns delivering a 250-300% ROAS or higher creating the illusion that everything is great.  Once we dive deeper, we often find several features, settings, targeting options, or bid strategies missing that could improve either volume, return on ad spend, or both. Here are a few things you should consider now to make the most of your search and shopping efforts.

  • Surfaces across Google. Google shopping has long been a favorite for online retailers and an area where OMG Commerce shines. For a detailed look at how to get the most from Google Shopping ads, check out the guide I wrote for Shopify earlier this year.  Surfaces across Google allow your Google Shopping ads to appear on YouTube, in Gmail and other places. You’ve maybe experienced this yourself when you search for something on Google, then later see Google Shopping ads on YouTube for similar products. These ads can be effective anytime, but especially during the holidays.
  • Leverage Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs). Dynamic Search Ads allow you to harness Google’s machine learning to run search ads for all of your product catalog without requiring a super detailed build out of keywords and ad groups. This can be a pretty easy step to really increasing your search ad volume. 


  • Highlight promotional pricing. If you are running discounts for the holidays, you can take advantage of promotional pricing both in Search and Shopping ads. For Search ads, you need to run promotion extensions that allow for your sales details to show under your existing Search ads. For Shopping, you can use the “sales price” field. This will allow Google to highlight that your price has dropped and your item is on sale. This is a powerful visualization that increases clicks on your listings and helps increase sales.


  • RSAs and Extensions. Responsive search ads allow you to combine your marketing and copywriting strengths with Google’s machine learning to improve your ad performance. 
  • Adapt your bid strategy for holiday shopping. Get ready to bid more aggressively. As competition heats up, bid levels required to reach customers also go up. One simple way to get your bids ready is to use a bid automation strategy like target return on ad spend (target ROAS). As conversion rates increase during holiday shopping, using a bid strategy like target ROAS will allow Google to bid more aggressively and still reach your ROAS goals.

TIP 6 : Harness a Ubiquitous Remarketing Approach

One way we see some eCommerce companies come up short during the holidays is when they depend on a weak or underdeveloped remarketing campaign structure. Most eCommerce brands we meet are engaged in remarketing, but very few are maximizing their remarketing approach.  So where should you be running remarketing campaigns? 

  • Discovery. Discovery ads show up as a Display ad on YouTube, Gmail, and in the Google Discover feed (on your mobile Google app). These ads really command attention and show up in placements where your competitors probably aren’t advertising. We often see Discovery ads perform 30-50% better than standard display ads. 

  • YouTube. YouTube ads have the unique ability to stop shoppers in their tracks and drive them to start shopping your site whether they are brand new to your site or have been there a few times.  No remarketing campaign structure is complete without at least some YouTube remarketing.  
  • Google Display Network (GDN). GDN is what most people think of when they think of remarketing on Google. We recommend dynamic remarketing where Google uses your product feed to build custom ads tailored to your shoppers. With dynamic remarketing, shoppers see ads featuring the actual products they viewed while on your website. We also recommend responsive ads where you give Google a few headlines, descriptions, and images and they will mix and match to create a great ad. Responsive ads are preferred to static ads and allow for more placement opportunities and more visibility. 
  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs). It’s very common for shoppers to see a YouTube or Facebook ad, visit your site, not purchase, and then forget your name. Enter RLSAs. This allows you to target search ads or shopping ads to remarketing lists. If a previous site visitor is back on Google searching for products like yours, you definitely want your ad to show for them. RLSAs help you do that. 

TIP 7 : Leverage YouTube

Leverage the latest and greatest from YouTube for growth - We have a lot of merchants who come to us because they’ve had success on Facebook and they want to diversify into YouTube traffic. We’re a top spender on YouTube ads for agencies our size, so our reputation precedes us a bit. We’ve found that if a company can successfully run top of funnel awareness campaigns on Facebook, then YouTube will most likely be a good fit too.  BUT - the platform is quite different. The structure and length of video ads that work on YouTube are quite different from video ads that thrive on Facebook. It often takes a few weeks to a few months to dial in your YouTube performance. It’s much easier to find the right combinations of winning audiences, videos, and landing pages BEFORE holiday shopping reaches its peak. To get the full scoop on how to scale with YouTube, I highly recommend our recent free webinar, The Winning Formula for Scale, that features experts from OMG Commerce, Google, and beyond. For now, here are a few tips:

  • Run Video Action Campaigns (VACs). In addition to pre-roll or instream placements, VACs include autoplay ad placements in the YouTube mobile app. We’ve found that VACs often drive more impressions and more views while also driving lower cost CPAs. 
  • Utilize YouTube ads with Merchant Center extensions.  This is Google’s new version of TrueView for Shopping.  But it’s better. This extension allows you to highlight top products via Google Shopping ads that appear next to your YouTube video. This is YouTube ads + Google Shopping ads. It’s a pretty great combo. We’ve seen YouTube ads with Merchant Center extensions perform very well for consideration and remarketing campaigns and sometimes for top of funnel awareness campaigns. 
  • Leverage viewed video audiences. We discussed remarketing audiences a few times above.  There’s another audience that’s similar and also very powerful - viewed video audiences.  These audiences are made up of people who’ve viewed one of your videos to the billable point in the video.  Which means they’ve watched at least 30 seconds of your video, or they’ve watched the entire video if it’s less than 30 seconds.  We like to run YouTube campaigns showing additional video ads to people who’ve viewed a video, but haven’t converted.  We also layer in viewed video audiences to our search and shopping campaigns.  It’s very common for someone to watch a view, not take action immediately, but then search for your product on Google at a later time.  Often, they can’t exactly remember your brand so they make more of a category based search.  
  • Lean into intent-based audiences.  One of the great differentiators between YouTube and other online platforms is the ability to understand user intent. You can run ads on YouTube targeted users based on what they’ve recently searched for on Google. You can also target someone based on what they are searching for and watching on YouTube at the moment. Reaching the right shopper at the right time is easy on YouTube. 

So how is your holiday strategy looking now? Need more help getting ready? Request a strategy session from the team at OMG. While we’ve been unusually busy this year, we still want to make time to talk to great eCommerce brands. Also, you can check out a few of our guides and resources to help you get ready to dominate this holiday season.

Amazon Ads

Amazon Cyber 5 2021 - Top Tips & Strategies

With 2021 bringing a bit more stability back to the Amazon marketplace and Prime Day returning to it’s normal summer cadence, our team has Q4 and Cyber 5 planning top of mind.

Amber Norell
July 15, 2021
Amazon Ads
Marketing
Cyber 5

With 2021 bringing a bit more stability back to the Amazon marketplace and Prime Day returning to it’s normal summer cadence, our team has Q4 and Cyber 5 planning top of mind. Cyber 5 is a series of peak Ecommerce dates including Thanksgiving Eve, Cyber Friday, Cyber Saturday, Cyber Sunday and Cyber Monday. Cyber 5 is followed by a week of elevated sales often referred to as Cyber Week. To help get you started, we’ve put together insights from prior years and our top tips to totally crush it during BFCM weekend, Cyber Week 2021 and beyond.

The Basics

Inventory - Start your inventory planning well in advance to avoid any complications in your supply chain or with Amazon FBA replenishment. With Prime Day 2021, many OMG clients experienced harsh, temporary inventory restrictions. To help alleviate this for Q4 2021, closely monitor your IPI score and sell through in the months leading up to Cyber 5. Implement coupons and deals as needed on slow selling products and place removal orders for products facing Long Term Storage Fees well in advance.

 

Delivery Badge - Monitor your shipping dates throughout Q4. If your ship date is post Christmas or the “Arrives after Christmas” badge appears on your product page, conversion rate and ad performance will decline on products that were experiencing a lift as gifts. Once you spot this, pivot quickly to reign in bids and budgets and avoid wasted ad spend.


Content Updates - Ensure any listing updates are finalized by the first week of November. If you experience a decline in performance or challenges with getting the changes accepted, this will allow time to get them corrected. For A+ Content, we are currently encountering a full 7 day waiting period for approval.

Get An Edge

Lightning Deals & Coupons - Submit your Cyber 5 deals and coupons early when the “Cyber Week'' time frame becomes available in the “Deal” and “Prime Exclusive Discounts'' dashboard. Monitor both on-Amazon and off-Amazon pricing 30 days leading up to Cyber 5 to avoid last minute deal cancelations and coupon suppressions.


Event-Specific Sponsored Brand Ads - Leverage time sensitive copy for Cyber 5, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holidays. Target seasonal keywords relevant to each event or holiday on products that normally see a natural lift from gift buyers. Seasonal Sponsored Brand ads are also the perfect place to test holiday themed imagery in the “Custom Image” beta.


Storefront Update - If your product makes the perfect gift by nature, consider adding holiday-themed lifestyle imagery to put browsers in the buying and gift-giving mindset. For any ASINs that have scheduled deals, consider adding them to a temporary deal page on your storefront.


A+ Content & Product Page Refresh - A+ Content and your image gallery are also an excellent place to insert seasonal and holiday-themed lifestyle imagery. If on-page competitors are saturating your page, consider inserting a “Product Comparison” chart to the bottom of your A+ Content to feature some of your other products, take up more real estate and push other competitors down the page.


Amazon Posts - Schedule posts leading up to corresponding deals for increased traffic. Holiday-themed posts are a great way to get buyers into the holiday spirit and will now reflect on your storefront navigation bar.


Lower Funnel Sponsored Display Targeting - For any products that are not eligible for DSP, solidify your remarketing strategy by setting up view-based remarketing ads for customers who have viewed both your products and those who have viewed similar products.

Full Funnel Advertising

The Lead-Up -

  • For heightened Brand Awareness leading up to Cyber 5, consider testing additional top of funnel DSP targeting segments such as Competitor Targeting, Similar Product Targeting, and In-Market Targeting. 
  • We recommend implementing top of funnel DSP as early as September or October with a minimal budget to allow plenty of time to collect data and ramp up during Cyber Week and peak Q4.
  • Repurpose any new or holiday themed video content you’ve created to test and leverage OTT ads higher in the funnel.
  • Submit any focused Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Cyber Week campaigns in advance to allow plenty of time to get them approved and ensure that they run during Cyber 5. 
  • Any campaigns with holiday or deal-specific messaging have to be scheduled to end within 24 hours of the event in order to get approved.
  • Increase bids 2-4x higher than current bids on proven keywords with a strong return and multiple sales for top products prior to BFCM weekend. 
  • Any bid increases should be in place by Thanksgiving Day, however, rolling them out slowly in the weeks leading up to Cyber 5 will help you gain traction and capitalize on traffic increases.
  • In terms of budget, expect a percentage increase similar to Prime Day, BUT be mindful of the fact that BFCM and Cyber Week is a longer event and sales volume and traffic will continue to see momentum 3 weeks post Cyber Monday. 
  • If you have a hard limit for advertising budgets, ensure a global cap is in place on your account prior to BFCM and Cyber Week.


The Main Event -

  • Monitor your Sponsored Ads multiple times a day throughout Cyber 5 to avoid budgets maxing out. If budgets run out and your campaign is meeting your ROAS goals, continue to add budget.
  • For any priority search phrases for ranking or sales velocity purposes, check rankings in an incognito window every few hours to ensure you are still winning the top of search position.
  • If you lose Top of Search on any of your “must win” phrases during Cyber 5, consider increasing bids or increasing the TOS placement amplifier in relevant campaigns.
  • Pay special attention to any campaigns intended to support Lightning Deals and Coupons on your top products.


Post Cyber 5 -

  • Traffic on Amazon typically is 141% higher on average after Cyber Monday compared to the 14 days prior, according to Amazon. 
  • For that reason, we recommend slowly decreasing bids only on terms that have declined in performance rather than reverting back to your former bids all at once. This will allow you to continue riding the wave of increased traffic with high buying intent.
  • DSP should be in play throughout Q4, but make it a core part of your strategy post Cyber 5 to maximize on the increased traffic.
  • If you’ve invested in Cyber 5 deals and built a Deals tab on your Amazon storefront, consider placing a DSP order (campaign) to retarget customers who have shown interest in your deal but didn’t purchase redirecting them back to your Deals page.
  • Consider scaling your DSP budgets for Retargeting campaigns not only during Cyber Week but also for the 3 weeks after. Given that some of this traffic will have already converted, exclusions should be set for past purchasers.
  • Split test holiday-themed custom DSP creatives for products that naturally make great gifts by nature.

What’s NEW

SBV Product Targeting Campaigns - Maximize your Sponsored Brand efforts by implementing the new product targeting segment into your Sponsored Brand Video strategy.


Customer Engagement Beta - If you already have a substantial number of brand followers on Amazon, ask your Amazon rep for access to the new “Customer Engagement” beta now to give you access to test email campaigns during Cyber 5.


Top of Funnel Sponsored Display Targeting - Consider testing new “In Market” and “Lifestyle” audiences on Sponsored Display ads for your top products. Though these are higher in the funnel, testing at low bids while there is heightened buying intent is worth consideration.